New regulations for charity fundraisers approaching shoppers

Shoppers on Wakefield Cathedral precinct.
Shoppers on Wakefield Cathedral precinct.

Charity fundraisers who approach shoppers in the city centre will have to stick to a new code of conduct.

Wakefield Council has introduced the regulatory measures after concerns were raised about how some of the fundraisers approached shoppers.

The council said many asked people for support in a polite way but a minority had upset shoppers.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for corporate services, said: “Our priority is to ensure that everyone who visits our city centre feels comfortable and has a good experience when out shopping or meeting friends.

“Most fundraisers are great ambassadors for their charities and they do a great job. But there are concerns that a minority can over-step the mark and have upset people.

“We decided to introduce this new code of conduct after we received feedback from the police, local business and the public.

“I hope this new system will give shoppers confidence that if they are unhappy steps will be taken to address the issue.”

The new rules will apply to charities requesting bank account details.

Under the measures, the city centre will be split into two zones, with no more than three fundraisers per area. Fundraisers will be permitted between 9am and 7pm.

The council said it is also working with the national regulatory body to help people make a formal complaint if they are unhappy about how they have been spoken to by a face-to-face fundraiser.

Complaints can be emailed to marketshq@wakefield.gov.uk and will be passed on to the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, which regulates charities and under its rules has the power to investigate and issue penalties.